Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 559–579 | Cite as

Regulatory mechanisms of kinetochore–microtubule interaction in mitosis

  • Kozo Tanaka


Interaction of microtubules with kinetochores is fundamental to chromosome segregation. Kinetochores initially associate with lateral surfaces of microtubules and subsequently become attached to microtubule ends. During these interactions, kinetochores can move by sliding along microtubules or by moving together with depolymerizing microtubule ends. The interplay between kinetochores and microtubules leads to the establishment of bi-orientation, which is the attachment of sister kinetochores to microtubules from opposite spindle poles, and subsequent chromosome segregation. Molecular mechanisms underlying these processes have been intensively studied over the past 10 years. Emerging evidence suggests that the KNL1–Mis12–Ndc80 (KMN) network plays a central role in connecting kinetochores to microtubules, which is under fine regulation by a mitotic kinase, Aurora B. However, a growing number of additional molecules are being shown to be involved in the kinetochore–microtubule interaction. Here I overview the current range of regulatory mechanisms of the kinetochore–microtubule interaction, and discuss how these multiple molecules contribute cooperatively to allow faithful chromosome segregation.


Kinetochore Microtubule Spindle Chromosome segregation Bi-orientation Mitosis 



The author thanks M Ikeda, K Iemura, T Hirota, and L Clayton for careful reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japanese Society of Promotion of Science; a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan; and grants from the Mitsubishi Foundation, the Naito Foundation, Takeda Science Foundation, Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund (10-24210), Daiichi-Sankyo Foundation of Life Science, and Gonryo Medical Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Oncology, Institute of Development, Aging and CancerTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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